Literary arts showcase The 215 Festival is making its grand return to Philadelphia this year, and the announcement today reveals an all-around exciting lineup, especially in the musical realm. New Eraserhood venue Underground Arts is ground zero, and The West Philadelphia Orchestra throws a “Ladies Night Balkan Dance Party” on opening night, November 1. The following night, John Wesley Harding’s Cabinet of Wonders performs – this time featuring members of The Spinto Band, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Dean & Britta. Lushlife and Light Heat play the Bibliodiscotheque Dance Party on Nov. 3, and John Hodgeman closes out the festival on the 4th. No word on whether humorist Hodgeman’s performance will be musical or not, but perhaps one of his TBA guests will bring instruments with them. Check out the entire lineup here.
Like many Philly music heads from the aughties, we were amped to hear that Quentin Stoltzfus was bringing his songrwiting back into the public ear. He recorded some of the most magical psych-rock this city has to offer in his band Mazarin, right until a wedding band from upstate New York with the same name presented him with a cease and desist order. After a six-year hiatus, Stoltzfus took the name Light Heat, began working with Alec Ounsworth and guys from The Walkmen, and picked right up where he left off. The track that made the rounds when it appeared on Soundcloud a month ago, “And the Birds,” rings out with a strumming acoustic guitar, a chiming piano, and layers and layers of sonic bliss. You can grab a free download of the song below, and hear a lot more in person when Light Heat makes its live debut on Friday, Aug. 24 at Center City’s Fleisher-Ollman Gallery for the closing reception of “A Complete Die, etc.”, a group exhibit curated by Philadelphia artist Anthony Campuzano.